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Come on Lily...is being a mum really all that boring?

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Lily Allen. Photo: Getty

Lily Allen. Photo: Getty

Hilary Hook and baby

Hilary Hook and baby

Angela Burke

Angela Burke

Una O'Connor

Una O'Connor

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Lily Allen. Photo: Getty

Lily Allen doesn't seem to be finding motherhood's all it's cracked up to be, but what do other mums think?

English singer Lily Cooper (better known as Lily Allen) has never been afraid to mince her words and last month revealed to her Twitter followers that she found the routine of motherhood to be boring. The 27-year-old star and husband Sam Cooper have two daughters Ethel, who is 15 months old, and Marnie, who is just two months old.

But much as she undoubtedly loves her daughters, Mrs Cooper told fans: "Sometimes I wish I had better things to do with my time then change nappies, cook dinner, watch s**t telly and respond to internet trolls."

Becoming a mother can be a shock to many women who have made big lifestyle changes, so we asked five mums how they coped.

 

"I love the things we do together"

Hilary Hooks is married to Paul and they have a 13-month-old son, Jonathan .

Living in Castleknock, the former salsa and zumba teacher found it difficult to get into a routine when her baby was born but recently set up dance classes (www.activemum.ie) aimed specifically for new mothers like herself and this new venture has given her more of a sense of purpose.

"I was used to a very varied week but when I became a mother, it was a different ball game. I didn't get into any routine, until Jonathan was at least six months. I fed him on demand; he napped very frequently and was up a lot at night. The hardest thing I found in the beginning was the tiredness and not being able to finish anything -- even something as simple as emptying the dishwasher sometimes took three attempts..

"I was always an efficient kind of person and good at multi-tasking, but I have learnt that with a baby you can't do two things at once. But I don't agree with Lily Allen saying motherhood is boring, I find it really enjoyable and interesting spending time with my baby and all the new activities we do together."

 

"I get exhausted - but we are never bored"

Una O'Connor and her partner Frank Carr have two children between them -- Leon (17) and Lyra (15 months).

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Working part-time as an administrator, the Clondalkin woman says although being a mother can be difficult to adjust to, the pros outweigh the cons.

“I wouldn't describe motherhood as boring. I have found it to be exhausting and frustrating at times yes, but never boring. There are just

so many things you could be doing. There are about 10 years between Lily and I, sperhaps we just have different

expectations.

“I had no routine when I was on maternity leave and was very happy with that.

“I was lucky that my sister Aoife was between jobs and was a wonderful help to me. Iwould go to her or she wouldcome to me.

“I met up with friends. Iwas always out and about,hardly ever at home. And  also took part in baby massage yoga classes and sling dancing — so I found being active helped me cope.

 

"Baby massage and yoga helped"

Niamh Ryan and her husband Kevin live in Clondalkin with their 20-month-old son, Senan.

Until this month, she worked as a treasury operations officer for over 40 hours a week, but is delighted to be back home with her child.

"I don't know about Lily Allen but I definitely wouldn't describe motherhood as tedious. I think children are only babies for such a short period of time that you really have to make the most of it and hold, kiss and cuddle them as much as possible.

"Babies are constantly learning new skills, such as rolling, crawling, standing, walking or talking and it's so exciting to see them reach these milestones. Obviously, the first few weeks are a bit of a shock as everything is so new but I soon got into the swing of things. I was on maternity leave until my son was 10 and a half months and I loved it. We did baby massage, coffee mornings, baby yoga and swimming so some days we were really busy and others we just chilled out at home.

"I returned to work last June and using my annual leave I managed to work a four-day week most of the time.

"My husband also works long hours, so when I discovered I would be away from home for at least 50 hours a week, Kevin and I made the decision that I could no longer continue in my current job. Part of me was sad to leave as I enjoy my work, but a bigger part of me just wants to be with my baby."

 

 

"Those treats I took for granted now mean the world to me"

Angela Burke has a one-year-old daughter called Claire and works full-time in a school in Portlaoise.

She says that although her life has changed since her daughter was born, she now has more appreciation for the simple pleasures of life.

"Before Claire was born, my husband and I often went on weekends away and I used to go to the beautician every so often for a little pampering -- and although I always enjoyed these treats, now they mean the world to me and I look forward to them with great anticipation.

"Just getting away for a few hours to be Angela again and not mammy recharges my mind and gives me new energy to sing Twinkle, Twinkle again. If I didn't have these, being a mum would be so much harder.

"The loss of self was difficult at first. There was a shift in my identity in both how I felt about myself and how the world perceived me. I have become more efficient at managing my time and errands.

"We follow the philosophy of attachment-parenting and allowed Claire to tell us her schedule.

"I facilitated by putting her to sleep when she was tired, which was usually the same time every day and fed her when she was hungry which also was usually the same time.

"Having Claire control her own schedule always felt like the right way to parent her and although sometimes unpredictable, was never a burden.

"She has always been a very content and patient baby so when I did have to disrupt her sleep, she rarely complained.

"I went for a walk locally most days, either alone or with a friend and carried her in a sling, which she has always loved and would snuggle onto my chest and sleep while I got some fresh air.

"I also went to a baby massage class and a Friends of Breastfeeding mother-and-baby group, which was my anchor and gave me the reassurance that everything was perfectly normal.

"I now understand the phrase, 'It takes a village to raise a child'. People are not meant to parent in isolation -- mothers are supposed to support each other and children need to socialise with other children. Mums need a community around them -- whether friends, a group or family."

 

 

"Stopping work was so hard"

Ruth Beurton from Bray is married to Damien and they have three sons --10-year-old twins Hugo and Jack and five-year-old Oliver.

 

She doesn't work outside the home but says she is more than busy keeping up with the boys.

"Giving up work to look after my children, was definitely the hardest life change I've ever faced -- I went from director of a successful estate agency to stay-at-home-mom and it took me three or four years to accept and enjoy it.

"I really panicked at first -- so I began to start my days with a pretend happy voice and pretend smile and then it got started to get easier. As the days wore on, the smiles weren't so fake and I began to enjoy being with them.

"I think making the change from full-time work to being at home is like signing up for a new dance class.

"Keep your head up, fake it 'til you make it -- and next thing you know you're dancing."

 

 

 


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